[Guide] Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

muzikool

Act your wage.
Political User
#1
I've been asked to share some information on SEO, so I thought I'd start a thread here for anyone who might find the information useful. I am not an SEO genius or "professional optimizer" by any means, but I have done some research on the subject for my own sites and talked with someone who has a lot of great knowledge on the subject. Note: I will only be describing FREE methods of SEO that you can do on your own. Additional Note: SEO is a debated topic, so everything I state here won't necessarily be agreed upon by everyone. What I'm posting here is what I believe to be correct and ethical, but by no means is it the final word on SEO methods.

Important Basics -- My Top 5 Do's and Don't of SEO

1. SEO DOES TAKE TIME. It takes time for you to research keywords, optimize your site and it's content and receive external links from other websites. Beyond that, though, your site will gain validity and value to search engines the longer it exists. So much of the SEO process is simply waiting and being patient.

2. Probaby the biggest "Don't." DO NOT EMBED INVISIBLE TEXT into your webpage -- this is usually keywords that are made to be the same color as the background, normally at the bottom of a webpage. Google recognizes this and penalizes your website for it, and you don't want that since Google is the #1 search engine!

3. ESTABLISH AND MAKE USE OF KEYWORDS on your website, especially on your home page. I will link to some keywords tools at the bottom of this post that can help you establish what keywords your site should use. Keywords are what you expect people to use when they are performing a search, and the search engine will list your site if you are using these keywords in your meta tags and in your text content.

Once you've decided on these keywords, it's recommended that you repeat them throughout the text on your homepage. At the same time, avoid saturating your page with these words -- they will obviously appear frequently, but you can try to word your sentences in a way where they are still good in a grammatical sense.

Meta tags are not as important as they used to be, but they can still be helpful and I encourage you to put them into your code. The keywords you choose should be listed in the meta keyword tag. See the links at the bottom of this post for information on how to setup your meta tags.

4. GET SITE TRAFFIC USING EXTERNAL LINKS. Links from other websites (referral links) that point to your website are extremely important and make a significant impact on your placement in search engine results. There are tons of ways to get linked from other sites. You can list your site in relevant directories, offer to trade referral links with other site owners, place links to your site in forums (without spamming!), utilize social bookmarking get friends to blog about your site, etc. This brings me to my next point...

5. DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR SITE TO LINK FARMS. Link Farms used to be an SEO trick that was recommended, but your site can now be penalized in search results if it is listed in a link farm. What is a link farm?

Additional Tips -- Other methods that will aid in SEO

1. Use descriptive links on your site, or when linking from other websites. Instead of linking from another website with your URL, use a descriptive phrase that utilizes one or more of your keywords. For example instead of http://www.mywebsite.com, post useful gadgets and widgets. The same applies for within your website. If you are going to link between pages using textual content, then use a descriptive link, instead of something like "Back."

2. Graphic links will only enhance your SEO if you put a description in the image's alt tag.

3. Manually submit your website to search engines if you feel the need to do so. If your site is linked to from any well-known website, then the search engines will find your site in a short amount of time. There normally isn't a need to manually submit your site, but it won't hurt you to do it either.

4. Build a sitemap for your website. It won't drastically improve your site's ranking, but it will help web spiders index all of your pages. A sitemap is more necessary for larger sites than smaller ones.

Useful Links

SEO Resources
101 SEO Resources
SEO Chat
SEOBook
Ethical SEO - site run by a friend of mine

Keyword Resources
About.com Articles
Google Keyword Tool
SEOBook Keyword Tool

Meta Tags
Myths about Meta Tags
Meta Tag Generator

Monitoring Tools
Google Webmaster Tools (thanks, Geffy)
Google Analytics
StatCounter
 
Last edited:

muzikool

Act your wage.
Political User
#4
Thanks, guys. I wasn't able to finish up earlier so I've come back and added the links I wanted listed. I'll add more information and links if others want to contribute. Hopefully this will be a good resource to get people started. :)
 

Perris Calderon

Administrator
Staff member
Political User
#10
thanks for this page, I don't do it where I work but because of this thread I decided I'd see how effective their web master is, I just put our site through the ringer and it really sux

(www.carlsfence.net)

I am going through some basic optimization with the web master, I want to know of the meta tag generator is worth adding to the web page?
 

Perris Calderon

Administrator
Staff member
Political User
#12
meta tags really help with search engines, especially keywords and description.
thanx lordofla, I understand that but there is a meta tag generator that you add to the website that I guess adds tags by random or something?

does this tool do any good, it seems it might be counter productive to me

Code:
<!-- BEGIN Developer Shed™ Network's Meta Tag Generator -->
<!-- Copyright 2001-2009 Developer Shed™, LLC All Rights Reserved -->


<table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0">
  <tr>
   <td valign="top">
      <table width="300" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0">
        <tr>
          <td width="16" height="16"><img src="http://images.devshed.com/sc/seotools/image_01.gif" width="16" height="16"></td>
          <td width="130" height="16" background="http://images.devshed.com/sc/seotools/bckg06.gif"><img src="http://images.devshed.com/sc/seotools/spacer.gif" width="130" height="16"></td>
          <td width="118" height="16" background="http://images.devshed.com/sc/seotools/bckg06.gif"><img src="http://images.devshed.com/sc/seotools/spacer.gif" width="150" height="16"></td>
          <td width="40" background="http://images.devshed.com/sc/seotools/bckg06.gif"><img src="http://images.devshed.com/sc/seotools/spacer.gif" width="40" height="16"></td>
          <td width="18" height="16"><img src="http://images.devshed.com/sc/seotools/image_02.gif" width="16" height="16"></td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
          <td height="30" background="http://images.devshed.com/sc/seotools/bckg07.gif"> </td>
          <td class=toolbox width="*" bgcolor="#CCCCCC" colspan=2 valign=top>
          <B><font size=+1>Meta Tag Generator Tool</font></b> © <a href="http://www.seochat.com">SEO Chat™</a>
          <font size="2" face="Courier New, Courier, mono">
			    <form action="http://www.seochat.com/?option=com_seotools&tool=3" method="POST" name="form"><input type=hidden name=go value=1><p><b>Keywords</b><br>List of relevant keywords<br><textarea  tabindex=1   name="keywords" cols=30 rows=5></textarea><p><b>Description</b><br>Short description of page<br><textarea  tabindex=2   name="description" cols=30 rows=5></textarea><p><b>Enter Captcha To Continue</b><br>To prevent spamming, please enter in the numbers and letters in the box below<br><input type=text  tabindex=3   name="imageverify" size=32 value=""><input   tabindex=4  type="hidden" name="timehsh" value="487a41334f56773d"><p><img	src=http://www.seochat.com/includes/showcaptcha.php?bd=487a41334f56773d border=1><p><input  tabindex=5   type=submit name="submit" id="submit" value="Make Meta-Tags"><p><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.developershed.com/esupport/"><font color="#0000FF"><b>Report Problem with Tool.</b></font></a></form>
          </font>
          </td>
          <td width="40" valign="top" bgcolor="#CCCCCC"></td>
          <td width="18" background="http://images.devshed.com/sc/seotools/bckg03.gif"> </td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
          <td width="16"><img src="http://images.devshed.com/sc/seotools/image_03.gif" width="16" height="16"></td>
          <td colspan="3" width="*" height="16" background="http://images.devshed.com/sc/seotools/bckg04.gif"><img src="http://images.devshed.com/sc/seotools/spacer.gif" width="16" height="16"></td>
          <td width="18"><img src="http://images.devshed.com/sc/seotools/image_04.gif" width="16" height="16"></td>
        </tr>
      </table>
    </td>
  </tr>
</table>

<!-- END Developer Shed™ Network's Meta Tag Generator -->
 
#13
no, you're better off spending the time to manualy research the keywords per page. Keywords should be the words you think your customers are going to be typing to try and find you when they don't know who you are yet.

the description tag should only be a short paragraph to go under you link title on search result pages.
 

Perris Calderon

Administrator
Staff member
Political User
#14
no, you're better off spending the time to manualy research the keywords per page. Keywords should be the words you think your customers are going to be typing to try and find you when they don't know who you are yet.

the description tag should only be a short paragraph to go under you link title on search result pages.
thanx, that's what I thought, been waiting to hear from you before I called their web master

good stuff
 

Mainframeguy

Debiant by way of Ubuntu
#18
I did not scroll.... but one thing not stated is the importance of ACCESSABILITY which is a BIG factor once a spider gets there. Seriously.
 

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Perris Calderon wrote on Electronic Punk's profile.
Ep, glad to see you come back and tidy up...did want to ask a one day favor, I want to enhance my resume , was hoping you could make me administrator for a day, if so, take me right off since I won't be here to do anything, and don't know the slightest about the board, but it would be nice putting "served administrator osnn", if can do, THANKS

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